Being Women

My Mother’s Ghila Pitha; Assam

Liza writes about Sankranti celebrations in a typical Assamese household and shares her mother's recipe of Ghila Pitha, a delicacy from Assam.
The chill in the morning air, the dew on the garden plants and the chatter amongst the women of the household about what to prepare and what to shop for the upcoming Bhogali Bihu and Uruka (the prelude to the festivities) over hot cups of tea and biscuit characterises Sankranti. 

The days of preparation, the booking of the neighbour's dheki (a rice pounding tool which has now been replaced by technology) so that all the women of the house can get perfect and different varieties of rice flour for the various types of pithas to be prepared over the days leading to Magh Bihu/Bhogali Bihu is exciting. 

The day of Uruka is one of the rarest occasions where waking up early is exciting as one can tag along for the shopping expedition to the nearby local markets in order to procure fresh local produce and most importantly the choicest of local fish, chicken and mutton for the log bhaat (a reunion dinner with family and friends). And how can an Assamese feast be complete without sweets - rosogulla, mihidana, cream and doi (curd). A tour to the popular local joint (more like the city's favourite during the 80s and 90s - Misti Mukh) is a must. 

At home begins the cookathon. Varieties of fish is fried - masor tenga, rou masor matha di laur khar (river fish head cooked with bottle gourd in alkali), local chicken curry, farm fresh fried chicken, mutton curry and lots more. By evening, family and friends gather around a bonfire relishing their favourite pitha, laru , chickenand mutton. 

This is how the evening before Magh Bihu looks like. 

Seated around the fire, Sankranti is about spending quality time with family and friends, gorging on good food, followed by singing and dancing to popular Bihu song. The next day everyone has to wake up early, offer their prayers to the Fire God and burn the meji that they have prepared. 

I am sharing one of my favourite pitha recipes. Its my mother's version of Ghila Pitha. 


• Rice flour - 200gms
• All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
• Grated coconut- 80gms
• Sugar - 120gms 
• Salt - 1 pinch
• 1 pinch of baking soda
• Water to form a dough

Oil for frying 


- Dry roast the grated coconut till the water dries out and it turns brownish.
- Now mix all the ingredients to form a dough. Make small round discs and shallow fry in hot oil on medium heat till golden brown on both sides (heat up the oil in high heat and once it is hot turn the stove to medium heat and start frying the pitha)

** You can adjust the sugar based on your preference.
** Traditionally we use mustard oil for frying but you can use any oil of your choice
** Traditionally rice is soaked and then dried before pounding it to a fine powder, but laziness coupled with a busy life I use store bought rice flour as a substitute,  so I add in the all purpose flour for better binding

Facebook Comments


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Veda's Exclusive

Get Ready to Turn Heads with Our Stunning Sarees!